Germany have just under two months to enjoy their FIFA World Cup final triumph before returning to competitive action – opening their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying campaign at home against Scotland on 7 September.
The Mannschaft claimed their fourth world title by beating Argentina thanks to Mario Götze's extra-time winner and, after taking on the team they beat in Rio de Janeiro on 3 September in a previously-arranged friendly in Dusseldorf, will now seek their fourth European crown in France in two years' time. Poland, the Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar and Georgia – in that order – will follow Scotland in attempting to take Group D points off the new world champions, who won all ten qualifiers en route to UEFA EURO 2012.
The Netherlands, third in Brazil, kick off their UEFA EURO 2016 campaign in the Czech Republic on 9 September. The Dutch, with Guus Hiddink succeeding the outgoing Louis van Gaal, are in Group A, alongside Turkey, Iceland, Kazakhstan and Latvia. France, who will stage the next UEFA European Championship, are in friendly action on 7 September, taking on Serbia in Belgrade.
Of the other European sides who were at the World Cup finals, Greece – who take on Romania – and Portugal – at home to Albania – are both also involved on the opening day of UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying, 7 September. Twenty-four hours later, Russia and reigning European champions Spain – both eliminated in the group stage in south America – kick off at home to Liechtenstein and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia respectively, and Switzerland are at home to another of Europe's other World Cup participants, England.
The remaining four European teams who were in Brazil – Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Italy – get their bids for a place in France under way on 9 September. Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina are together in Group B, while Group H contains both Italy and Croatia.
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